An English Baron: A Gothic Story, Clara Reeve

In my quest to read more classic novels, I came across this book on Kobo under their public domain section.

First published in 1778, it is not an original piece, but rather a re-write of another book; The Castle of Otranto which was written twenty years prior. I found this very interesting, as now a days, such an undertaking would be nothing short of plagiarism. Curious, I looked up and downloaded the original book as well.

An English Baron is the tale of a young man, a peasant by birth (or so we are led to believe), friended by the Lord of the land and given opportunities alongside his Master’s children. After spending a night in the ‘haunted’ part of the castle, young Edmund begins a journey to discover who he really is.

It is a story of jealousy and envy, and how keeping your enemies in your heart, despite their transgressions, will make you the better person.

Movie Night: The Woman in Black (2012)

Tagline: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596365/

Rating: PG-13

This movie is all kinds of creepy. Based on the 1983 novel by Jane Goldman, this movie takes place during the last years of the nineteenth century. It has every possible hair-raising element, from the creepy abandoned Victorian home, to strange sounds emanating from the mist that rolls along the marshland, to the mystery the local townsfolk refuse to talk about.

Daniel Radcliff plays Arthur Kips, a widower still mourning the loss of his wife four years after her death. A young lawyer, Kips is sent to look after the estate of a woman who died alone, and finds himself in the path of a tormented and vengeful spirit. The locals know if the lady in black is seen, even just a glance then a child in the town will die a horrible death. Because there is so much paperwork, Arthur spends the night in the old house. Once alone, all sorts of strange things begin to happen, with Arthur unsure of what is happening around him.

While most of it is predictable, it’s the mounting tension that sends shivers up your spine, and while there are some gross scenes, this movie reminds me of the old Alfred Hitchcock movies that relied on what you don’t see and what you hear to create the real horror.

The ending was not what I expected but suited it. Overall, I haven’t been this creeped out since I watched The Changeling with George C. Scott. If you like gothic stories, you must watch this movie.

5 out of 5.

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